EFNEP Helped Create One of America’s Healthiest Schools
The IssueJuanita Blakely Jones Elementary School in the city of San Bernardino showed great interest in teaching students about healthy lifestyles and gardening. Previous attempts to improve the school and enrich the lives of students by planting a garden were not successful because the garden was vandalized. This discouraged teachers and students, who were hesitant to continue pursuing new opportunities to improve the school that has high needs. Ninety-five percent of students are eligible for free/reduce price meals and the obesity rate is 43% according to the latest physical fitness report. The school wellness lead, Bonnie Luce, was introduced to the EFNEP Program Supervisor at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Workshop that connects schools to available nutrition resources in the community.
What Has ANR Done?The EFNEP Program Supervisor and NFCS Advisor in San Bernardino worked with Bonnie, who teaches first grade in addition to being the school wellness champion. Youth EFNEP Educator, Dalila Alarcon, was brought in to implement nutrition education in all 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade classrooms, by team teaching nutrition lessons with the teachers. Students learned nutrition messages from My Amazing Body, Good for Me and You, and It’s My Choice curriculum. Maggie O’Neill from the UC Master Gardener Program-San Bernardino County provided guidance to Bonnie Luce who took the lead in replanting a small garden. Maggie, with assistance from a fellow master gardener, taught a few gardening lessons from the TWIGS curriculum to the second grade classes. A group of parents at the school also participated in Adult EFNEP during 2017-2018 school year, completing the series of lessons from Eating Smart-Being Active taught by EFNEP Educator Clara Wilshire.
After EFNEP interventions, Juanita Blakely Jones Elementary received a bronze award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy School Program in 2018Two UC ANR programs worked together to help create a healthier environment for the youth and parents at Juanita Blakely Jones Elementary School. Our partnership with the school helped generate enthusiasm for school wellness and assisted the school in becoming one of America’s healthiest schools. With NFCS Advisor’s assistance, the school was awarded a Game On Grant from Action For Healthy Kids, which will further support the healthy school environment during 2018-2019. The grant will provide funds to build a larger garden and organize an event to celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week. EFNEP will continue to provide nutrition education and physical activity promotion, and play an integral role in helping this school create a culture of health.
Supporting Unit: San Bernardino County
Maggie O'Neill, Master Gardener, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chutima Ganthavorn, NFCS Advisor, email@example.com